The swirling conversation revolving MLB pitchers has ramped up over the past few weeks and the league’s rule makers have sprung into action.
White Sox fans have noticed instances of foreign substance use in recent games, but it isn’t just a one- or two-time event. Pitchers all over the league have experimented with different substances in an attempt to get a leg up on the competition. A big name in the National League is Los Angeles Dodgers’ starter Trevor Bauer, who has no issue speaking out about issues in the game whether he supports them or not. Whether fans agree with foreign substances or not, they exist on the mound and in the bullpen, but the MLB has made their stance loud and clear.
As shown above, pitchers, both starters and relievers, will be subject to periodic checks of the uniform and person either when they’re done throwing or if the umpiring crew is noticing them going to their hat, glove, belt, or any other part of their body. The MLB has stated that the umpiring crew will be the officiating members of these rules and have been guided on how to go about these checks.
Catchers are also subject to periodic evaluations as well. Any catcher who is found applying a foreign substance to the ball will be ejected along with the pitcher immediately following the discovery. The same can be said about position players, who although don’t touch the ball as often as pitchers or catchers, could still apply something to the ball throughout the game.
Any pitcher who is guilty of the above rules will be ejected and suspended from play. In order to combat any calculated moves by clubs, the league has stated that the suspended player cannot be replaced on the roster by another name.
Foreign substances have been apart of MLB for years, without much deflection. It seemed to be just another aspect of the unwritten rules of the game. However, the league’s officials have acted swiftly over the past few weeks to install strict guidelines for said substances. Pitchers who use materials to advance their game will now have to adjust accordingly or face the consequences.